While researching the Orange County Jewish community, I came across an odd newspaper notification dated June 6 of 1934, which stated that the Santa Ana Jewish Community Center was delinquent on its taxes by $41.31. Having never heard of this organization before, I searched low and high for other references and found… nothing. My curiosity piqued, I expanded my search beyond the county to the state and quickly discovered that the SAJCC was registered as a nonprofit entity in the state of California as company number C0110897, and was officially incorporated on September 20, 1924. Its location was listed as being in the Pacific Electric Subdivision, Lot 15, Block 5, which corresponds to the corner of N. Raitt St. (formerly Artesia Street) and W. Santa Ana Blvd.; today it’s an apartment complex. The organization is currently (and obviously) suspended, but what’s fascinating is that this was the second early attempt by Orange County Jews to build up local communal organizations; Congregation B’nai Brith, which lasted from 1920 – 1922, was the first. It would be another 19 years until we finally succeeded, with the establishment of our first synagogue, Temple Beth Sholom of Santa Ana, in 1943.
Dalia Taft, archivist of the Orange County Jewish Historical Society, highlights images from the archives every month. For more information, please visit www.jewishoc.org/history. You can also contact Dalia at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (949) 435-3484, ext. 167. The Orange County Jewish Historical Society is a program of Jewish Federation & Family Services and is fully funded by the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County.